Regarding “Nuñez release points to need for clemency reform” [April 13]: The coverage of Ethan Couch in Texas put a spotlight on “affluenza,” but affluenza is not unusual or new; and Esteban Nuñez is just another instance. More irritating is that some of the same people who go easier on affluent or prominent offenders are quick to throw the book at others, and balk at granting pardons or early release to those more deserving than Nuñez.
Perhaps the most egregious conduct is that of prosecutors or district attorneys who are loath to release or reverse convictions of prisoners who did not receive fair trials or have even been cleared by new evidence. In these instances justice is seemingly a lower priority than being tough on crime. Even worse is some DAs and prosecutors cravenly push to keep innocent people in jail because release would lower their won/loss stats.
Though needed, clemency reform will likely remain on the back burner absent organized effort.
In the mean time, we would do well to not be influenced and distracted by meaningless talking points like “tough on crime.”
Dan Jacobs, Mira Mesa
Please, please, please do more reporting on this situation [“Making homelessness a story,” April 20]. I am out every Sunday delivering food and other items to these people. The sweeps are devastating and the treatment of these people is inhumane. What the city needs to realize is that there is an army of people who do care what happens to the homeless and we are out there doing what we can while the city drags its feet. Not as sexy a topic, I guess, as developing stadiums and convention centers. Thank you for the piece.
Jennifer Porter, via sdcitybeat.com
FROM THE BOTTOMS
Hi my street name is Jingles. I’m writing in rebuttal to your article [“Making homelessness a story,” April 20]. It’s terrible what happened to that homeless man but things happen every day. The city wants to get a thousand vets off the streets. Well what about the other 22,000 men, women and children who are also on the streets and not veterans?
I’m out here in what’s called The Bottoms. It’s not as dangerous as everyone makes it out to be. They claim the problem is people in tents. Well those tents are the only means to be out of the elements since the city is putting sharp rocks and boulders into the ground under the bridges, which was the only rain shelter, and they will be doing this to all the bridges. They build new single-room occupancy housing (Alpha Square), but in the process they shut two buildings.
If you want to end homelessness there are simple steps that would change many factors and possibly work. First off you tell me how many average people (minimum-wage earners) can afford any place in California to live when housing is over 85 percent of one’s incoming funds. This doesn’t count the lights, water, cooking and heating fuels and owning a vehicle and eating. And many other SROs around San Diego have closed down. How can you end homelessness if you shut down housing?
This was what I say will end homelessness:
1. Lower rents.
2. Employ Americans.
3. Raise minimum wage to commensurate housing costs.
Jingles, San Diego
Long ago, when I was in my late teens, and early twenties, I smoked pot hundreds of times [The 420 Issue, April 20]. The occasions have been few and far between since I moved to San Diego.
I learned, from experience, some basic features of the evil weed. The primary effect is to make people happy. Secondly, you have the stoned hungries. It also enhances your appreciation of music, temporarily cures shyness and helps to alleviate some medical conditions such as nausea caused by chemotherapy. I saw two people, less than one percent, have a bad reaction to marijuana. One guy tried it a few times and had headaches instead of getting high. A young woman totally freaked out and started screaming— it was probably a bad reaction to a combination of THC and some kind of prescription medication. There are never hangovers of any form in the morning after sampling some reefer.
There are certain things to remember. The smoke from MJ is rather harsh. A good libation is handy to have. I discovered after some experimentation that Lambrusco and pot is a salutary mixture. One combo that was different and unforgettable was washing down a few joints with sake. Not better, not smoother, but the 18 percent alcoholic content of Japanese rice wine seems as if it must be stronger than that.
Another detail that really stands out for an old codger such as myself is that pot now is much stronger now than when I first had it, circa 1970. Two or three tokes now and you’re gone. I have known a couple of exceptions, but most devotees of MJ are not able to drive well with their mind kind of floating around the world around them.
Deuel Woodward, Chula Vista